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Male Admin, Female Footballer: Emotion And Sports Takes A Twist


The Oasis Reporters


September 10, 2023

 






Rubiales plants the kiss on Jenni Hermoso.



When Luis Rubiales moved to plant a kiss on star female football player, Jenni Hermoso, he probably never envisaged the storm that would emanate from the passion of celebration.


Here’s FP’s account:


Rubiales’s Red Card

Spanish state prosecutors filedcharges against Luis Rubiales, the now-suspended president of the Royal Spanish Football Federation, for sexual assault on Friday.

 



Rubiales is accused of kissing forward Jenni Hermoso on the mouth without her consent after Spain beat England in the Women’s World Cup final in Sydney on Aug. 20. If convicted, the former soccer chief could face one to four years in prison.

 


Among the charges, Rubiales has also been accused of coercion for pressuring Hermoso to speak out in his defense when the scandal first erupted. Hermoso has since denounced his behavior, saying she felt like a “victim of an aggression” and was “not respected.”

 



Prosecutors presented their case to Spain’s National Court in Madrid just two days after Hermoso formally accused Rubiales of sexual assault.

 



Friday’s charges are just the latest action taken against Rubiales. On August 27, FIFA announced Rubiales’s 90-day suspension, one day after the soccer head refused to step down from his post, calling the accusations against him a “witch hunt” by “false feminists.”

 


Despite Rubiales apologizing for his wording, acting Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez publicly condemned his behavior.

 

 

“What we saw was an unacceptable gesture,” Sánchez said, referring to both Rubiales’s nonconsensual kiss as well as a lewd gesture he made following Spain’s victory.


“The apologies he has given are not enough. I believe they are not adequate.”

 

The Spanish government has since also launched an investigation into Rubiales’s potential abuse of power.

 



The 46-year-old has been at the federation’s helm since 2018. If found unfit to hold the body’s presidency, he could be removed from office for up to two years.

 



The sexual assault charges came the same day that Spain’s women’s soccer league kicked off a strike to secure better wages and working conditions.

 



Among their primary concerns, union members are calling for Spain’s league to increase the minimum salary for women players. Female athletes’ salaries start at roughly $17,000; however, male athletes start at around $192,000.

 

 


League administrators argue that the federation cannot afford to increase earnings because the women’s league makes only $8.6 million versus the men’s $98.5 million projections.

 



Negotiations have been ongoing for 11 months, but recent allegations against Rubiales as well as the firing of Jorge Vilda, the women’s national soccer coach, on Tuesday for controlling behavior have pushed Spain’s soccer unions forward in their pursuit of stronger protections.

 



The season was set to start on Friday, but the strike will postpone games scheduled for this weekend as well as next weekend.

©Foreign Policy

Greg Abolo

Blogger at The Oasis Reporters.

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